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|School uniform fittings planned|
POTTSTOWN -- Parents interested in dressing their children in the uniform that will become mandatory in Pottstown schools in the 2008-09 year should clear their calendars for July 17 and July 26.
Those are the dates that representatives from Schuylkill Valley Sports will be at Pottstown Middle School to fit uniforms and take orders.
In the coming school year, uniforms will be voluntary, under the “soft roll-out” endorsed by the school board; however, because parents have expressed an interest in the uniforms, they can be ordered from the store, which will be the sole provider of uniforms, before they become mandatory.
The fittings will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, and from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 26.
After July 26, uniform samples will be on display at the store in the Coventry Mall.
Uniforms can be ordered at the store or online at www.svsports.com, according to a flyer that will be mailed out shortly to Pottstown parents.
The matter was discussed again July 5 by the school board, where some confusion about the policy continues.
School board President Barry Robertson questioned the need for a resolution suggested by school board member Edwin Edwards in light of the fact that no official uniform policy has yet been adopted.
“You’re asking parents to get involved with a policy we know nothing about because there is no policy,” Robertson said.
Currently, the district has a dress code which forbids certain fashion extremes.
Anyone wearing the uniform available at Schuylkill Valley Sports will be in compliance with the current dress code. No new policy regarding the uniforms has yet been adopted, only arrangements with the store for the uniforms that are to become mandatory in 2008-09.
The resolution Edwards suggested would have indicated that a policy would be in place by that time, but that seems like no reason to wait to make the uniforms available, said board member Amy Bathurst Francis, who served with Edwards on the committee recommending the uniforms.
“So many people have expressed an interest to me, I say let’s give them the option,” she said.
The problem with not having a policy in place, said Assistant Superintendent Reed D. Lindley, is that the administration won’t be able to answer parents’ questions about the uniform policy. For example, in several school districts around the country, dress code and uniform policy enforcement has led to lawsuits charging school districts with violating students’ civil rights.
Further, Lindley said, a policy most likely to be enacted and enforced should have input from the district’s teachers, the people who will be on the front lines of enforcing it.
High school mathematics Chairman Robert Decker agreed.
“Teachers should be very much involved in drafting a uniform policy,” he told the board.
The board agreed to vote on a resolution on July 19 that will set a deadline for the enaction of a new uniform policy by the end of September, in order to give the faculty an opportunity to participate.
“I just don’t want the administration getting hammered with all the minutiae and questions that will come up,” Robertson said.